Well, Saturday morning of weekend two of the UL official semester found me and some friends on a big, drafty coach bus to Galway! Kim, Cassie and Jamie are becoming expert trip planners and set the whole thing up! We arrived in Galway before lunch time and checked in at our hostel. (We used hostelworld.com a few days before which was a great tool to see reviews, prices, locations and everything we needed to make sure we had good housing for the night.) After locking up all the things we didn’t need for the day, we headed out wandering the downtown area. The part of Galway we were in was busy with activity and tons of people shopping and dining. After walking around to get our bearings a bit, we stopped by a famous Spanish arch and the Galway City Museum. I enjoyed the museum, learned about the history of the city, and saw some cool artwork. We also visited a gorgeous cathedral! The mosaics and stained glass inside were beautiful.
Mid-way through our window shopping and sight-seeing, we stopped at an awesome local pub called The Quays (pictured below), which we kept pronouncing phonetically (with the “qu” sound), but apparently it’s said “keys”. Either way, our food was absolutely amazing!!! Because I had eaten some breakfast earlier, I just got a bowl of “county vegetable soup” and it was fantastic. We heard they have great bands there and a night-time crowd, but unfortunately didn’t make it back. For the rest of the day, we bounced around the city, avoiding a couple of inevitable rain showers by ducking into little shops. Kim and Jamie bought Claddagh rings, and Cassie bought an Irish sweater. Throughout the day, I’m proud to say my impulse shopping willpower held out. However, many of you can guess my biggest weakness and never-failing downfall… Chocolate. Late afternoon, we stopped at a coffee/snack shop called Elle’s and I splurged on this scrumptious little morsel of hot chocolate and strawberries. Pictures can say a thousand words, right? To me, this one obviously says happy, yummy, joyful, delicious, happy, heavenly, etc.!
Dinner held in store yet another great meal of the day! At McDonagh’s or something of that sort, my friends had mounds of fish and chips and lovely baked chicken for me. We had a great time out meeting locals and some other tourists, too.
An early start at 7:30 Sunday morning and we were ready at the Galway bus station for our chariot to arrive! Unfortunately, our chariot was not ready for us, because the company had (ever so accommodatingly) cancelled that bus. After almost two hours of dozing off and chatting in the station, we packed onto the coach bus with other disgruntled tourists and were on our way. Two hours later of windy, windy, windy back roads and a lunatic bus driver, we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher!!! I can’t say enough about the beauty of this site, other than it’s a must see! Even on a furiously windy day, we appreciated the scenery so much. It was incredible!
Built right into the side of the grassy hill next to the cliffs, is where the tourist center is located. With interactive exhibits, a great café and gift shops it was a great shelter from roaring winds as we waited for our bus back (which was almost on time). The exciting city of Galway and the historically beautiful, famous and natural views of the Cliffs of Moher were exactly the stereotypical sight-seeing weekend in Ireland I’ve been anticipating. It was great to get off campus and explore with friends! Overall, this was a fantastic weekend spent with great friends traveling to awesome and well-known places in Ireland outside of Limerick. To check out the rest of my photos from the weekend adventure, here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150448570265744.451402.757925743&l=f2445784a4&type=1 :)